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Josh Williams suspended by NASCAR for parking and exiting car at Atlanta

Josh Williams brought an exceptional amount of attention to his small team after the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He will miss one race.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Josh Williams will be forced to miss Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Circuit of the Americas after he parked his car on the track and exited it during the race at Atlanta.

According to NASCAR, Williams violated a behavioral policy by disobeying a NASCAR request to drive his damaged car to the garage. He is now suspended for one race.

NASCAR told Williams to bring his car to the garage after he suffered damage in a crash early on during the Raptor King of Touch 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 18. Williams was attempting to continue on in his No. 92 Chevrolet Camaro for DGM Racing but debris kept falling off his car, prompting NASCAR to tell him to exit the track.

Instead of returning to the garage, Williams opted to park his car right on the start-finish line. He then exited his car and walked across the infield to the garage while waving to the crowd.

The bizarre situation directed a lot of attention to Williams and DGM Racing, a small team that has never won in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. 

Denny Hamlin, one of the top drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series, chimed in on Twitter to say he would pay for Williams' fine if he receives one.

Williams took a lighthearted approach to the situation, saying he did it to make his sponsors happy.

"We all work really hard... [to] have something like a piece of Bear Bond fall off and put us out of the race is frustrating," said Williams after the race. "We gotta make our sponsors happy. It doesn't do you any good sitting in the garage."

Williams was called to the NASCAR hauler after the race.

In response to his suspension, Williams released a statement on Twitter.

"Thank you to all of the fans for sticking by my side and showing love. I stand behind what I did and I don't regret any decision I made," wrote Williams. "I stand behind NASCAR for these decisions... I am not going anywhere anytime soon!" 

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During his eight years competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Williams has earned eight top 10s with a best finish of 6th at Kansas in 2020. Most of his 159 starts in the series have been for DGM Racing. 

Williams has started three races in the NASCAR Cup Series for B.J. McLeod's Live Fast Motorsports. His best finish is 25th, which he earned two times in 2022 at Bristol and Indianapolis.

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